Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Mishpatim - 5780
SPIRITUALITY WITH THE COIN
The Talmud in Tractate Eruvin states in the name of Rabbi Elai that "In three matters a person’s true character is ascertained: in his cup (his behavior when he drinks), in his pocket (his conduct in his financial dealings with other people) and in his anger". Pareshat Mishpatim is where the Torah expresses proper behaviour in regard to the pocket.
The reason these laws are stated immediately after the portion of the revelation is because the Torah wants to make it clear for all generations that the spiritual being is one that recognizes that a relationship with Hashem is not limited to the house of worship, but rather is present in all locations and especially in the marketplace.
Viewing religion as a detachment from the world can cause the individual to feel lost when interacting with the world, and, consequently, have no moral compass and clear direction once out of the house of worship.
Pareshat Mishpatim is a guide for the Jew in the marketplace and a reminder that his connection to Hashem is without boundaries. Indeed, the way we recognize the true Torah Jew is by analyzing his behaviour with a coin in his hand.